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Uncertain future for Stone Youth Centre

Stone youth and community centre

Staffordshire County Council is looking to change the way it delivers youth services, which could have major implications for Stone Youth Centre in Station Road.

A consultation is now under way on their proposals, so please make sure that you have your say. Click HERE to take part. You have until 26th February to have your say.

The county council issued this press release this week to launch the consultation:

Have your say on Staffordshire youth proposal

People are invited to have their say on Staffordshire County Council’s proposal to change the way youth services are delivered locally, in a consultation launched this week.

The county council is considering moving away from a traditional youth service open to all. Instead, the reshaped new offer would provide more targeted support to those young people most in need, while the council intends to work closer with other community and voluntary organisations to provide an improved range of activities and things to do for young people, as well as offering them better advice and information.

The youth services cover young people aged 13 to 19, or 25 for those with a learning difficulty or disability.

Currently, the county council provides a traditional universal open access service; however, four out of five of the 73,315 young people in Staffordshire did not use the service in the last year, which cost £8.73m to provide.

The consultation runs until Wednesday 26th February, with documents available on the county council’s website, or paper copies available on request.

Mark Sutton, Cabinet Support Member for Public Health and Community Safety on Staffordshire County Council, said: “We want to give every young person in Staffordshire the opportunity to realise their potential, do well at school and find a good job.

“In a rapidly changing world we also need to adapt and change the way we operate so that we provide the support and activities that young people want and need today and into the future.

“This proposal would see support directed at those young people who need it most. We will also work with all our partners to ensure there is a real choice of activities, as well as information and advice for all young people.

“We believe this approach will help young people help themselves to make the right choices in life, while delivering better value for money for local people.

“Over the next seven weeks we want to hear from local people and we will be listening to what they tell us, before making a final decision on the proposal at Cabinet in March.”

The consultation documents on Achieving Excellence for Young People will be available from 9am on Wednesday 8th January at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/consultation. A paper version can be obtained by calling 0300 111 8000.

[End of press release]

These are the clubs and activities currently provided at Stone Youth Centre off Station Road…

activities

Stone Youth Centre celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. Details and photos HERE

6 comments

  1. madeleine wilson-hart

    The Youth Centre is also a lifeline for special needs people who rely on the centre for various activities !   If  the centre closed what are they supposed to do –  stay in!  I agree with Ant`s comment is it going to be sacrificed for more needless housing !!!

  2. I couldn’t agree more Jill. As a local resident and new parent, I don’t want my child to grow up in an environment without those opportunities to integrate and socialise. I have brought this consultation to the attention of the main users and private funders of the community centre, Venture who had not been informed, and will be bringing it up with our own group, care free living to involve them in the consultation and highlight the role of both the youth service and the facilities at the centre. I would be interested to hear Mr Cashs input on this issue for the people and families in his constituency?

  3. Councillor Mrs Jill Hood

    I speak with experience as a past Chairman of Stone Youth Centre when I say Stone Youth Club and its very experienced youth leaders plays its part in helping to form the character of a young person. The youngsters have the chance to learn to integrate, work as both leader and team player and become a caring and responsible adult. Stone Youth Club is a place where a young person can showcase a talent they may be reluctant to show off at school or in other settings, to get that talent recognised and utilised.
    The reason given for withdrawing funding for the Youth Club in its present form, ‘to see support directed at those young people who need it most’ is flawed. Many youngsters go through life without their problems being recognised or diagnosed. A youngster at school becomes adept at hiding troubles and problems but an experienced youth worker can identify a child who needs help as they are trained to listen and look out for the signs. Mark Sutton states “We want to give every young person in Staffordshire the opportunity to realise their potential. This is not happening in schools due to the large class numbers, but it is happening in our Youth Clubs. He also says while delivering better value for money for local people. I’m sure all local people would say give EVERY CHILD the chance to attend a Youth Club, not a selected few. If Youth Clubs are closed many youngsters will be back on the streets, claiming there is nothing for them to do and anti-social behaviour will increase.
    The County Council has stated “We believe this approach will help young people help themselves to make the right choices in life. Which young people is he talking about, those the County Council will choose to benefit from a limited service, or the young people who will have no choice but would gain from the support of the traditional Youth Club in being guided to making the right choices in life? Stone Youth Club has always been a very popular venue for its youngsters; funding should not be the issue and should not be withdrawn.

  4. Given the councils latest planning permissions I wonder how many houses they could build on the site?

  5. The centre is used for A LOT more than the groups above. It is a hugely meaningful facility for a wide range of people with a range of needs

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